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Novo Nordisk set to launch price cut for insulin drug NovoLog after harsh criticism over prices in the US

Published on 09/09/19 at 02:16pm

Danish drug maker Novo Nordisk has said it will offer a generic version of NovoLog (insulin aspart) at a price of $145 per vial, nearly half of the branded drug’s currently listed price. The price cut will come into effect from January 2020.

The company will also launch a cash card programme next year which will lead to patients with or without insurance being able to purchase its older analogue insulin products in vial or pen formats for just $99.

The move follows that of Sanofi which said in April it would reduce the cost of insulin for uninsured people to $99 per month. This comes alongside Eli Lilly which offered 50% cheaper version of its Humalog (insulin lispro) the following month.

Over a five year period the cost of treating type 1 diabetes in the United States has nearly doubled, and in April a US congressional committee put pressure on executives from Novo, Sanofi and Eli Lilly to testify about the rising costs of the medication.

Patient groups have also been complaining about difficulties in getting hold of Lilly’s authorised generic and have accused of it being nothing more than a publicity stunt, since the cheaper product, so widely advertised, was scarcely available.

The representatives at the hearing earlier this year pointed blame at pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs), a claim which was thrown back to them as they blamed the drugmakers claiming they were responsible in keeping the drug prices as high.

Novolog is currently used by approximately one million patients in the US, and in a statement Novo Nordisk underlined that more needed to be done to create a ‘much needed longer-term systemic reform’.

Nik Kiran

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